A Christian Science perspective: Even when our lives seem devoid of love, God’s never-ending love is with us and with everyone.
There are scientists currently searching for and studying black holes – collapsed stars that fall in on themselves, turning into giant cosmic voids that draw in whatever is within their region of influence, including light! An idea in an article I was reading about this research caught my attention: Scientists don’t actually study black holes directly, because they cannot be seen. Instead, they look for evidence around the black hole; they look at the effect.
This got me thinking about the way many of us approach the evidence of voids or problems in our lives. We sometimes look around to see what’s missing, and then look for reasons for why it’s missing and where it has gone. This could be as common as feeling a lack of love, and then deducing that something or someone must be responsible for this lack. But prayer has shown me that I won’t find answers by looking for material causes.
For example, a few years ago a three-year relationship that had meant a great deal to me ended. I had a hard time with loneliness and a sense of loss. I felt as if my light and happiness had been sucked out, as if love had been taken away. I felt that love was gone because the person who represented love to me was gone. The feeling of emptiness that made me so sad seemed to be swallowing all the good I had once felt.
In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote that this Science “overthrows false evidence, and refutes materialistic logic” (p. 120). And I decided the question I needed to face when I felt without love or happiness was: How could I tell what was the false evidence versus what was true about me as God’s creation?
Christ Jesus’ life offers a great example. The Bible shows that during his three-year ministry, he proved the power of God over sin, disease, and death. Christian Science explains how to pray as Jesus taught, and to replace false evidence, such as sickness or loneliness, with the understanding that God is Life, and “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
As I thought about Jesus’ healing work, I realized that joy and love aren’t something we have to “get” from other people; they actually come from God. This helped me understand that the material evidence of loss and deprivation is a counterfeit (or mere fraudulent imitation) of creation.
I began to realize something about the real me. While the material evidence was telling me that I could be devoid of love, I turned my thoughts from this misrepresentation of life to the spiritual fact that God is Love. Since God is infinite, there could be no such thing as a lack of love anywhere in His creation, and no one could take God’s love away from anyone – including me.
Rather than seeing material evidence revolving around an issue and searching for the cause in the midst of it, I was beginning to understand that as the expression of God, Love, I included love and could not express anything but love. In truth there was nothing else to be expressed. I prayed similarly about all the negative conditions that I’d felt were defining my life. It was becoming clear that voids were a scientific impossibility.
When I missed tenderness, I saw God as tender and caring, and I saw myself as the embodiment of those qualities. I practiced expressing tenderness, care, love, joy – anything that seemed to be lacking. As I did, I found these qualities expressed in my life.
I have since been engaged in a new relationship with a wonderful person who also embodies these qualities. But when I met her, I was no longer looking for someone to fill a void. I had already been seeing that Love is reflected infinitely. This relationship has evolved into a mutual commitment to God and each other, which we recently celebrated through our marriage. My wife and I have moved forward together, striving to understand each other’s completeness, and God’s love as a spiritual fact. As a result, our relationship is founded on the groundwork of Love being reflected, instead of a material need being filled.
Even when our lives seem devoid of love, God’s never-ending love is with us and with everyone, everywhere. If we feel there is a black hole or void in our life, instead of looking for material causes for those losses, we can find answers in God’s abundance everywhere, and experience His infinite provision.